Threat Level Raised as Lava Approaches Hawaii Homes

VIDEO: A lava flow is closing in on a group of houses in
WATCH Threat Level Raised as Lava Approaches Hawaii Homes

Rural Hawaii residents are keeping a nervous eye on a lava flow that may reach their community within a week.

The lava from Kilauea volcano is less than a mile away from the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision in Puna on the state’s Big Island, authorities said, with the threat level raised from a watch to a warning.

As the lava flow crept closer to residential areas Thursday, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi declared a state of emergency.

Video released by the United States Geological Survey Thursday showed the lava spreading through a forest, creating thick plumes of smoke.

Authorities said it’s difficult to predict a lava flow’s path because of changes in topography and lava volume, as well as where and how lava enters or exits ground cracks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.